For as long as I can remember, I’ve considered framebuilding a creative process. Indeed it’s also one that can be tied to production methods, and quotas, and price points. It’s a lot easier to reconcile the business side of things now than when my life was one big learning curve. I fought long and hard the notion that machines and staffs of people manning work stations could make bicycle frames the way framebuilders made them. I wanted so much to believe that the artisans and brands that I held in high regard, those who I considered muses and had pioneer status – I wanted to believe that their work was beyond reproach. We all need a special lens to view things through on our way up; something has to be the carrot and someone has to provide the inspiration. At the beginning of my career, I had role models too. But more than these, I believed that bicycle frames made “this way” were the Fabergé Eggs, or the best from the best Cremonese luthiers, or the haute-est of haute couture all rolled into one. It wasn’t so much about an individual making a bicycle that was at the center of my fantasy as much as it was the fantasy itself. It included a world in which men who did this kind of work answered to a higher calling.
All This By Hand